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  • Kay Runyan

Resilience, A tricky thing to find

In my last blog I wrote about my own rape and why women don't tell when they are raped, and how resilience is needed to move on with their lives. Resilience is one of those internal, mental and emotional things that some of us can draw on and some of us can't. There are also varying degrees of resilience. Resilience has biblical roots in the teaching of hope, perseverance, and overcoming adversity, and achieving well being through faith. Spiritual resilience is the ability to sustain a sense of self and purpose through beliefs, principals, values and morals.

Some women and young girls develop mental problems from the trauma of rape. They must have psychological counseling to work through the process of finding resilience. I am a firm believer that all of us have some resilience in us and we have to dig to find it and re-establish ourselves. Not everyone has faith to draw on, but perhaps spiritual resilience is something they can start with. That doesn't mean that we know how to do this in the beginning and we make negative choices in trying to cope with the trauma. This is especially true if we never tell and don't have access to counseling. Eventually, we need to recognize that our sense of who we are (self) has been severely damaged.

Once that is recognized then we can establish a purpose in our lives. In my case, I had a mother that had to overcome a great deal of adversity and as a child, I saw her do this time and time again to survive and feed her children. She never gave up. She also instilled strong moral values in us. Through all of this, my purpose in life became one of "making something of myself." By the time I focused on this I had three small children and an alcoholic husband. I made a plan, I would somehow go to college and get a degree that would help me not only support my children but provide a career. There were many challenges along the way and many hardships that my children had to suffer through as well. My resilience came from the Spiritual realm. I had the beliefs, values and morals to help me accomplish my purpose and gain back my sense of self. I did not have very much help or support. I had only myself to rely on.

Please read CHOICES: My story of survival and you will understand the adversity I had to overcome. People have told me that reading it gave them inspiration.


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